High-altitude platform systems


Programme Category

EU Competitive Programmes

Programme Name

European Defence Fund (EDF)

Programme Description

The European Defence Fund (EDF) is the Commission’s initiative to support collaborative defence research and development, and to foster an innovative and competitive defence industrial base.

Programme Details

Identifier Code



High-altitude platform systems


This topic has opened under the call ”ISR and advanced communications” (EDF-2021-C4ISR-D).

The proposals must aim to validate HAPS solutions, developing at least two different flight demonstrators of different kinds to test properly the operational and technical challenges of the different HAPS platform types, and as such making a substantial contribution to European Defence and Security applications.

Detailed Call Description

Unmanned high-altitude platform systems (HAPS) are capable of flying in the stratosphere, at a significantly lower altitude compared to satellite, and with very long endurance. They are ideal carriers for sensor and communication systems to persistently perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance tasks and serve as low delay communication relay, compared to geo-stationary satellites. Such HAPS should be able of carrying on board high resolution of optical and radar sensors as well as low latency communication, possibly through a network of HAPS.

The proposals must include in particular:

  • Definition of the Concept of Operations of HAPS solutions in their various missions, taking into account their specific operational capacities. Such CONOPS will be used to design the prototypes or the new HAPS solutions (platform and payloads, including data processing);
  • Demonstration of the various HAPS demonstrators (platforms and payloads) to de-risk the key technologies and highlight the operational performances that can be expected from each demonstrator type;
  • Study of current and foreseen technology status and identification of road maps for each demonstrator involved.

Targeted activities: Studies, design, not excluding upstream activities.

Call Total Budget


Financing percentage by EU or other bodies / Level of Subsidy or Loan


Thematic Categories

  • Justice - Security
  • Research, Technological Development and Innovation

Eligibility for Participation

  • Central Government
  • International Organisations
  • Large Enterprises
  • Private Bodies
  • Researchers/Research Centers/Institutions
  • State-owned Enterprises

Eligibility For Participation Notes

The action shall be carried out by legal entities cooperating within a consortium of at least three eligible legal entities which are established in at least three different Member States or associated countries. At least three of those eligible legal entities established in at least two different Member States or associated countries shall not, during the entire period in which the action is carried out, be controlled, directly or indirectly, by the same legal entity and shall not control each other.

The admissibility and eligibility conditions are described under Article 9 and Article 10(4) of the EDF regulation.

Call Opening Date


Call Closing Date


National Contact Point(s)

Ministry of Defense
172-174 Strovolos Avenue, 2048 Strovolos, Nicosia,
website: https://mod.gov.cy/
Telephone: 22 807500
Email: defence@mod.gov.cy

Department of Research and Innovation
Phones: 22 807755, 22 807754
Email: research.innovation@mod.gov.cy

(Publish Date: 30/09/2021-for internal use only)

EU Contact Point

European Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space (DEFIS)